Khaya Dladla or popularly known on SABC 1’s Hit show Uzalo took the challenge of answering the Uniq Mag SA 10 questions in a gaming interview with Aluta Humbane.
By: Aluta Humbane
Who is Khaya Dladla? Khaya Dladla is an all round entertainer who hails from Umlazi BB section. I am 1 of 6 children born by the late Mr Reggie Dladla- and my mom, Thandi Dladla from Umlazi G section.
I was exposed to the performing world from an early age. It all started at
Isipingo Hills primary school, where I excelled in performing arts; and as a means to keep me busy, my parents enrolled me to a ballet school. I consider my early childhood life adventurous, as from a tender age I performed in theatres around South Africa. My passion for the arts grew from there. My teen life was always bounded by dance and music. As I progressed to high school I became well known for my leadership roles and capabilities in creating works of art.
I attended grade 8 at Hunt road, Glenwood, done my matric at Brittenwood High school, where I received laurels for my participation in drama. I was not the very brightest of learners, but consider myself a hard worker.
Are you gay in real life or only as a character on SABC 1’s, Uzalo? Yes! I have always been gay. The character of GC on Uzalo, came at a time when South Africa is transforming, thus a co-incident. As an openly and proud gay man, the arts was a space where I could express myself, especially in the context of a society where homosexuals had limited platforms to be themselves. Arts is very political, as it is mediated through the body as instrument. That in itself is political.
What are your plans for the future? Currently, I’m working on a self-funded project of recording my single. My fans and readers of the Uniq Magazine should fasten their belts as I am working on my reality TV show. I want those who are interested in my lifestyle to see me and understand my life on and off-screen.
Are you in a relationship, if so with who? I cannot divulge at this stage on who it is but ‘maybe’ he is on the show ” Hint, Hint”.
What message do you have for LGBTi to encourage them to pursue their dreams; Firstly I would like to acknowledge the LGBTI individuals who are making waves in the industry, the ones who have graduated with academic degrees, the trailblazers in all sectors of life. We had to fight for where we are in society. Therefore ‘Inhlonipho ave ibalulekile’ asizithande and work hard. We have to prove a point whether we like it or not, not to society at large but to ourselves.
What was your saddest moment in life? I have two saddest moments in life;
- Was a fight and disappointment in 2006 when I had a big fight with my parents for refusing to support me to study at AFDA after I had finished my matric. Somehow, the stereotype that arts is not a career path resonates highly amoungst a lot of elders, my dad was no exception. The refusal saw me leaving home as I was so dissapointed. Growing up performing, became a part of me, but my dad somehow thought it was a passing phase. However that was resolved as I was very adamant about the career path I wanted to pursue. The lack of support created a dent on my heart, but I have since proved that anything is possible if you believe, and never give up.
- The second sad moment was the passing away of a dear friend and colleague of mine from Uzalo ‘Bhekani’. From all the gay friends I’ve had, Bhekani was one who taught me to love myself and that life is worth living. I was there in his last days, when he was sick and that left a hollow in my heart. We were both casted to sing on Uzalo, Choir. But just a couple of shoots ahead, he passed away. There were songs that he always led on the show, I always sing those songs as a tribute to him. He had a voice of an angel and every time I lead those songs I feel his spirit through my voice.
How did you get to be on Uzalo? It is quite a funny story because I was the last person to the audition, and the cast co-ordinator came out and said I couldn’t as there were no more forms for audition. I just walked in there requested to audition, I was adamant that I will be given a chance. I auditioned and when I received the call, I had been casted to be an extra.
Having been a performer for almost 17 years, I refused the role. I articulated that I cannot after such experience allow myself to be under-valued. I didn’t give up until there was another open call, where I was casted for my singing on the choir.
I literally had TWO lines on the first shoot – and two lines on the second shoot.
I never had a role of Uzalo, but what stood out was how I said those two lines with passion and vigour. The crew and other cast member were in stitches, I recall the lines, they were ‘Ngobani ngo five’ – kuphela!. After the season was done the producers called me aside and said they liked me and wanted to develop a character with more lines for me. I guess my individualism shined above all else, that is how I have lasted up until now.
What is your biggest achievement in life? My biggest achievement or rather proudest moment was graduating with my first degree- Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Communications (Unisa) and a Diploma in advertising(Varcity College). Recently, the radio feature on Vuma FM every Friday on The Hot Spot With Nomfundo Mkhize, radio has always been one of the careers I love.
Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years? Owning my own production company and clothing line.
Choose one option from the two, and explain why? Car or House; House. Because cars are a depreciating asset, and a house can be turned into a home. We need homes to build a community; a society.